Coyle steadies Down ship
Down 3-19 Mayo 2-12
A tidy haul of 1-12 from James Coyle kept Down on a steady course at Charlestown on Saturday.
Down won despite having wing-back Ruadhri McGrattan sent off for an illegal strike as early as the fourth minute.
Mayo did make a fist of it early in the second half having trailed at half-time by 1-9 to 0-8, the Down goal superbly executed by Paul Braniff on 20 minutes.
Mayo pared back two points after the restart from Ronan Cullinane and Niall Murphy and although Coyle responded with two points, a goal from Cullinane closed the gap to one point (1-11 to 1-10) after 48 minutes.
But that was as close as it got, Down hit back with points from Andy Savage, Coyle and Braniff, and goals from Savage and Coyle.
Scorers -- Down: J Coyle 1-12 (0-8f, 0-2 '65), P Braniff 1-3, A Savage 1-1, S Wilson, S Clarke, C Coulter 0-1 each. Mayo: R Cullinane 1-3, D McDonnell 1-0, N Murphy 0-3, D McConn, K Higgins 0-2 each, B Moran, C Hynes 0-1 each.
Down -- G Clarke; L Clarke, S Wilson, S Ennis; R McGrath, F Conway, M Ennis; A Savage, S Murray; C Woods, S Clarke, C Coulter; J Coyle, P Braniff, P Keith. Subs: E Clarke for Coulter, D Flynn for Murray,
Mayo -- D O'Brien; D McDonnell, A Connolly, B Higgins; S Markham, K Moran, C Ryan; D McConn, N Murphy; K Higgins, D Dowling, S Hoban; M Devaney, C Hynes, B Moran. Subs: R Cullinane for Dowling, S Hunt for Devaney, K Robinson for Hoban, J McGrath for Moran.
Ref -- A Kelly (Galway).